I had a crazy weekend of music, 4 gigs in 3 days. We have a street fair in Blacksburg on the first week of August every year. I played Friday evening with the acoustic version of my Dead band, then the full electric band played an after-party at a downtown bar. Then on Saturday, my bluegrass band, Crossties, played Saturday evening. Then on Sunday, we celebrated the life of a dear friend who recently passed. Blacksburg had an incredible music scene back in the 80s. Mostly fueled by a ton of really talented players, we had top-notch rock bands, hard rock bands, punk bands, hippie bands, blues bands, you name it, there were some great players playin' it. The scene was incredibly supportive, everyone came to see everyone else, no animosity or competition, and lots of sit-ins. Ronny Clifford, a local singer guitar player and bartender to end all bartenders had the bright idea to get together a "super-group." He gathered a bunch of folks to form a group appropriately named SCUM (the Smalltown Coalition of Unified Musicians). This group played a handful of gigs every year for a little more than 10 years always benefit shows for a local women's shelter. Membership in this clusterfu . . . I mean group was pretty fluid and I participated a handful of times as did several of my bandmates. Lots of Stones, lots of Lou Reed, some Janis, and lots of good ol rock-n-roll. Ronny was diagnosed with throat cancer 7-8 years ago and suffered through tough treatment, surgeries, and a failing body and never lost his trademark wit and his incredibly kind spirit. He finally lost his battle a couple of weeks ago. We started talking about what to do to honor his life and reuniting SCUM seemed the logical thing to do. There hadn't been a SCUM show in probably 10+ years. Most of the folks were scattered about the country with busy lives but everyone dropped everything and made the trip to the mountains. The Ronny Clifford Memorial/Rock Circus took over the New Life Christian Center which used to be the bar where Ronny held court for many years. Thankfully SCUM did most of it's damage before the internet so googling us was not possible so I don't think they new what they were in for. They were very nice and put up with our shenanigans. This was not only the best memorial I have ever witnessed but the best group of people I have ever played with and will likely every play with. I broke out my new Scarlet Fire Wolf that weekend and put it through it's paces and tested it's versatility - it passed with flying colors. I videoed the whole event and will post some when I get it edited.
Sweet Jane (got cut off in the picture) . . .
The last tune, You Can't Always Get What You Want - I think there were 26 people on stage for this one